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These are special chemicals that carry messages between brain cells. All learning, remembering, sleeping and emotions depend upon the ability of the brain cells to produce and deliver neurotransmitters to other brain cells, as well as to respond to messages from other brain cells.
They are produced from nutrients absorbed from food. For example, acetylcholine, which is needed by the brain for learning, memory and long-term planning, is made in the body from choline, a B vitamin found in egg yolk, grains, legumes, leafy green vegetables and lecithin, which is rich in phosphatidyl choline.
Some neurotransmitters, such as norrepoinephrine, have an excitatory action, while others such as serotonin, have a calming effect. For more nutritional information, see 'Nutrients A to Z' by Dr. Michael Sharon (Prion Books)